You have a choice: Either let the 24/7 news cycle consume you or maintain your productivity, Deidra Jackson writes in Inside Higher Ed.
Jackson draws on her experience as a doctoral candidate in higher education at the University of Mississippi to recommend ways you can keep your focus when the news is distracting and draining.
1: Time yourself. Jackson suggests using the Pomodoro Technique, which involves alternating between bursts of intense work and short breaks. Force yourself to limit your news consumption to the Pomodoro's 5-minute breaks, Jackson recommends.
5 ways to focus during crunch time
2: Borrow what you can. If you can't get rid of the news, you might as well use it, Jackson writes. Reflect on what lessons you can bring from current events to your day-to-day work, she recommends. For example, Jackson shares that one of her colleagues rewrote some dialogue for his fictional work set during the Vietnam War after watching a documentary about the period.
3: Go on a news diet. Keep your news consumption to a "strict need-to-know" basis, Jackson recommends. Identify what you can't live without, get it, and move on.
4: Seek support. Pay attention to the effect of news consumption on your health, stress level, and relationships, Jackson writes. "Stay in contact with your closest supporters," she advises, adding that you shouldn't be afraid to reach out to a friend or counselor for support (Jackson, Inside Higher Ed, 11/14).
In a world of Snapchat, Twitter, and WhatsApp, how can we help students focus?
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